Hard to stop high tide of change

I was reading a great article in the Delmarva Quarterly about the demise of the crab industry on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It’s sad that watermen are a dying breed and may soon be extinct.

People resist the loss of a way of life with every fiber of their being, yet no matter how hard we try, we can’t stop the tide of historical selection.

There are no more shipbuilders in Bethel, Milton or Milford. The waterfronts that thrived along the Nanticoke, Broadkill and Mispillion rivers remain only as memories in sepia-toned photographs. The canneries that dotted the rural Sussex landscape are gone. Most of the women who can remember working in shirt factories – nearly every town had at least one – are grandmothers or great-grandmothers.

Even the great DuPont Nylon Plant in Seaford, which employed as many as 4,500 people, is but a sliver of a remnant of its former self. It has been sold and fewer than 600 people work there.

Most people who drive to Cape Henlopen State Park have no idea the area was once the hotbed of the menhaden fishing industry. Industry, and even lifestyle, fall victim to time, economics, competition and the environment.

Change, although sometimes inevitable, is not something we always look forward to. We hate to see watermen go by the wayside just as much as we struggle with the loss of jobs at the nylon plant. We are all victims when the heritage of an area is decimated.

What’s most exasperating is change that is out of our control. We can’t stop a company from selling out or outsourcing to China or Mexico. We can’t stop technology from replacing systems or processes. We can’t stop greed and poor management that leads to business and plant closings.

But we can control change to some degree within our own small world of influence. Stopping a bad habit, losing weight, starting a new, productive hobby, getting in better physical shape, getting organized, mending personal relationships or simply having a better outlook on life are changes most can tackle.

We also need to understand what is important in our lives and have a plan to defend it from outside influences that might seek to change it.

TAKE STOCK – Thanks to the efforts of the Sussex County Heart and Soul campaign, there is a movement afoot to identify what is important so that it can be protected.

Bill McGowan, Heart and Soul organizer, points out during every presentation that if you don’t know where you are going, there is no way you can get there. In other words, if you don’t know what you cherish and protect it, it will pass by the wayside.

Go to http://www.heartandsoulofsussex.org for a lot of great information about the county. You can offer your own comments as well. If church dinners, roadside markets and walks in the woods are important to you, let them know.

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One Response to “Hard to stop high tide of change”

  1. High tide Says:

    High tide When the tide goes out, it is time to rockpool and see what is underneath the water.,

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